DeShawn Stevenson Asks to Be Benched

With the Wizards getting off to a horrific 4-21 start, it's clear that some changes need to be made if this team is to even think about pulling itself together and winning some ball games. Since they've already switched out their head coach, all that's left is to start tinkering with the lineup. And DeShawn Stevenson has decided that he'll take on that responsibility himself.

Stevenson is second in the league in consecutive games started with 275, behind Tayshaun Prince's 380. But shooting a career-low 31.7 percent from the field this season, DeShawn has requested to come off the bench in hopes of getting his swag back.

"In a real team gesture he basically told me: 'Hey Tap, I'm struggling a bit, why don't you let me come off the bench and see if I can't get my swag back going against some second-line guys,' " Tapscott said of Stevenson. "I thought it an enormously gracious thing to say.

That is a pretty strong team gesture, especially coming from a guy like Stevenson, who has been known to pull more than a few stunts to grab his share of individual attention. But a deeper issue here is the question of why DeShawn had to bench himself if he was playing this poorly? Ed Tapscott is likely to keep that "interim" tag permanently if he needs his players to tell him when it's time to make a change in the lineup.

DeShawn Stevenson Asks to Be Benched originally appeared on NBA FanHouse on Tue, 23 Dec 2008 10:57:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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